...as in, we might not have existed.
Last month I started the 52 Stories challenge of answering one prompt each week about my life.
By the end of the year, my 52 stories should pretty much sum up my life story.
So week 6 the question was:
"Do you know the story of how your grandparents
met and fell in love?"
I know nothing about how Romeo and Leonie met, my Dad's parents.
But I did find out how Earl and Lella met....
my Mom's parents via information that was written by my mom in 1962 and 1982.
So here's how her parents met. Not so remarkable until you know the back story which I will explain.
In the Fall of 1917 when my Grandpa Earl Slinkard was 26, single and still not having met my
Grandma, he joined the Army, the 20th Engineers. This outfit was made up of 20,000 men, all with
mountain and forest service.
He was first sent to Angel Island in San Francisco where he waited a entire month for enough men to
collect before being sent to the American University in Washington, DC.
Finally on the way back to DC, he and the men he was traveling with were snowbound in Slater,
Missouri, and delayed for three days. Because of this delay, they missed the ship they were
scheduled to be on. They were to learn later that ship was bombed.
After arriving in DC, he and his men ended up sailing the Pasteries, which was part of a large convoy
to France. During this long trip Grandpa was stricken with spinal meningitis and was unconscious
for most of the 30 days in route.
Now I would think having spinal meningitis would be beyond horrible even in a nice hospital with
medical people hovering around. But being that sick on a ship in the middle of the sea!??
When Grandpa came to, he was at Base Hospital 101 in St Nazarie, France.
He was so sick the doctors gave up hope for him....all but one intern and a nurse. He craved liquor
and the nurse said if he were going to die then he was going to die happy. So she fixed him a very
strong "eggnog." After that his condition improved and he continued to have his "eggnog" each day.
He stayed in this hospital for five months, from Feb-July.
He was then transferred to a convalescent center in central France. Still not able to do any work, he
was finally sent homeward bound on Sept 13, 1918 on an auxiliary cruiser, the Harrisburg. He arrived
at Staton Island about Oct 1st. He stayed 2 weeks, then he headed for Fort Des Moines, Iowa on a
hospital train where he stayed until December.
He than came to San Diego, Ca where he was discharged the day before Christmas, 1918.
Okay, so here's where my Grandma comes in. On his way from San Diego he stopped in Bakersfield
to see his sister Ida. There he met his future wife Lella, who was Ida's roommate!
I see the hand of the Lord in my Grandpa's life, and because of that, the hand in my life and all of my
family who came from the marriage of my grandparents. If he hadn't been snowed in those 3 days in
Missouri he would have been bombed in that previously scheduled ship. And really, who lays
unconscious with spinal meningitis for 30 days at sea and lives to tell about it. And such struggles
while in the Army. He was in some sort of hospital for over a year.
What suffering my Grandpa went through. Reading through the rest of his life story, it did NOT get
much easier. I owe much to this man and to my Grandma, for giving me my angel Mom.
I don't believe we are just randomly here on earth. If that were the case we would all be here or not be
here, due to good luck or bad luck. So if one young person gets wiped off the earth there goes his or
her entire posterity yet to be born. I know it doesn't work that way. We are all God's children and He
has a unique plan for each of us. I think about this a lot. It makes sense no any other way.